Friday, December 7, 2012

Apples, Apples, Everywhere...

Seriously. I've been receiving apples as part of my farm share for weeks now, and even with apple pies and apple crisps and apples for lunch everyday I still had bags of them covering my counter tops. I've already filled my freezer with the fruits of our bountiful harvest, and my canning jars overfloweth (with jam and pickles and such.) So, I went to the oldest technique in the book (OK, it actually predates books and even writing systems by many thousands of years. Did you know archeologist found signs of deliberate food drying dating to 12,000 B.C?)

I've got some fancier equipment than our forebears, but the system stays the same. Slice the apple thin, dip it in a lemon juice and water mix, lay it out to dry. Apples were long prized in Europe because they are easy to dry and tasty to eat that way. 24 hours in the dehydrator is all I needed for these slicers, living in Colorado does help wince it's so dry here naturally.

If you don't have a dehydrator you can place them on a pan in a low oven cracked open, turning the oven off after a few hours. I've dried not just tasty fruits, but also chopped veggies and herbs with this method. It's nice to have some "emergency" stores for making soups and such all winter long. I also make awesome camping meals with dried stuff!

How do you preserve the good stuff from this time of year?

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